More Details on the Barbie Movie Corvette!

barbie movie corvette
Hollywood Scandal: Barbie Movie Corvette ShortenedWarner Bros.

In these troubled times, with actual, real problems in the world to get outraged about, take a moment to consider this not-so-real scandal: the Barbie Corvette in the coming Warner Bros. movie isn’t full-size! When you stop to consider the amount of time and energy expended by web commenters about perceived inaccuracies in Ford v Ferrari and, likely, in the coming Enzo Ferrari and F1 movies, this should at least register on the scale of righteous indignation somewhere. Shouldn’t it?

The first Barbie Corvette debuted in 1968, though some sources say 1970 and one claims it was 1976. As far as I could tell after spending way too much time researching it, there were numerous Barbie Corvettes over the years, from C1 to C4, at least. Argue about that one on the internet. The car that will be in the movie is based around a 1958 Convertible.

Barbie has placed her perfect plastic keister in numerous cars over her endlessly youthful lifetime. The first car seems to have been three years after her creation in 1959. That was when she got a 1962 Austin Healey 3000 MkII, her first car. It was followed by a 1962 Mercedes 190SL, 1978 Ferrari 328 GTS, 1991 Porsche 911 Cabrio, and Barbie campers too numerous to list here. There was even a “2004 Cali Girl Chevrolet SSR” pickup truck and a 2004 Ferrari F1 car. According to the exhaustive web source there was even a “Big ATC” trike-looking thing and a very wide variety of dune buggies. There were many, many vehicles in the Barbie World.


For our purposes, the one we care about is the Corvette. Or, as it’s sometimes been called over the Barbie years, the “Dream Corvette.” In the coming movie it’s a ‘58 Convertible. The shocker in the official trailer for the movie is that it appears to be much smaller than a real Corvette (Outrage! Boycott! Squirrel!).

barbie movie corvette
Barbie drives her Corvette in Barbie Land.Warner Bros.

The real 1958/59 C1 Corvette was 177.2 inches long. Estimates for what the real size of a human-sized Barbie would be range from 5-foot-9 to 7-foot-6. Who knows? The actress who plays Barbie, Margot Robbie, is 5-foot-6. In one screen-saver captured from the movie trailer, the height of Robbie the actress appears to take up about half the length of the car (138 in. divided by 177.2 = 78%), so let’s say it’s ¾ scale. When you go see the movie (when it comes out July 21) you can make your own estimate.

Not only is it smaller scale, it appears to be autonomous. In several scenes in the trailer, as well as in a very thorough analysis by Architectural Digest, Barbie is turning around, facing rearwards, waving to all her Barbie friends with both hands, as the car continues to drive forward on its own. This suggests at least Level 3 autonomy, at a minimum. But there is no visible lidar, radar, cameras, or other sensors to be found.

More useless facts if you’re still reading this far into the click bait:

barbie movie corvette
Just some of the fabulous Barbie gear you can buy from Mattel.Mattel
  • All of Barbie’s friends, all named Barbie as well, have C1 Corvette Convertibles, but they’re not all pink like the main character’s car. In the trailer we see green, blue, and yellow models. There may be other colors.

  • The car is able to do a complete barrel roll in the air—with Ken unbelted in the cargo space/rear bench seat behind the front bench seat—and land perfectly with no damage to either occupant. Amazing how they skirt NHTSA safety standards and survive.

  • Robbie/Barbie’s head extends at least a foot above the wraparound glass windshield and yet her hair remains perfect.

Yet we must see past these trivialities if we are to fully grasp the existentialist struggle that is at the heart of this future classic: Barbie wants to leave Barbie Land, where everything is perfect, and go out into the real world—specifically Los Angeles, California, where people may be plastic but they’re imperfect. Will she survive? Will her hair survive? Will she and Ken find happiness in a non-Barbie World? We’ll find out July 21.